Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hanging Out in the Back Yard

If you saw my May blog with the Harlequin American Romance Authors—Lee’s Folly—you’ll know my husband is a very handy guy to have around. After he finished building the folly, his next project was this trellis with a bench.

It gives us a little more backyard seating and since it’s higher than the fence, it also provides some added privacy. Now if only I had time to sew, I’d make seat cushions for it!

The electrical wiring in the folly has also been finished. Here’s a picture of it at night.

The perfect place to unwind at the end of the day. And very romantic, don’t you think?


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday News—This and That

Today at the Harlequin American Romance Authors site I’m blogging about favorite books from my childhood, so I hope you’ll drop by. And remember—commenters are eligible to win autographed books at the end of the month!

My books have recently received some wonderful reader reviews on the Harlequin website. Hope you’ll check them out—here, here and here!

This week is guest blogger week with The Wet Noodle Posse. For more on the business end of writing, see what these experts have to say.

Monday—Sara Reinkes, a Zebra Debut author, provides a. simple explanation
of what branding is and how to achieve it

Tuesday—Elisa Rolle of Rosa is for Romance talks about writing book

Wednesday—Beth Andrews, a Harlequin Superromance debut author, shares
tips on multi-tasking and finding time to write

Thursday—Brenda Novak talks some more about branding

Friday—Q & A Day

I haven’t done much blogging lately because I’m working toward a deadline. Wish me luck!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday News—The Man for Maggie

I’m totally thrilled! The Man for Maggie placed second in the More Than Magic Contest’s first book category and third in the sweet contemporary category!

Congrats also to Lisa Childs, Cindy Procter-King, Janice Lynn and Terry McLaughlin for their successes in this contest! It’s an honor to be in your company!

Beluga Update:
The Vancouver Aquarium’s baby beluga is one week old today! You can check out the latest photos here.

Talk you soon!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday Fun—Happy Father's Day and other stuff

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, espcially mine. Love you, Dad!

Yesterday I attended a workshop on character archetypes given by Susan Lyons. She based her workshop on The Complete Guide to Heroes & Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes by Tami D. Cowden, Caro LaFever and Sue Viders. If you’ve been following my posts on this blog, you’ll know this happens to be one of the few writing how-to books I use, and I highly recommend it!

This week the Harlelquin American Romance Athors are conducting an informal reader poll on our blog. If there are topics you'd like us to blog about—or not!—please drop by and let us know.

And while I have your attention, here’s a sneak peek at what’s happening this week on the Wet Noodle Posse Blog:

Monday—Terry McLaughlin tells us how to prepare a press kit
Tuesday—Jill Monroe talks about Author Talk
Wednesday—Mary Fechter discusses promotional loops
Thursday—Janet Mullany on how to cope with a "bad" cover
Friday - Q&A Day

Have a great week!


Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Musings

I like to have a change of scene from my office and was hoping to work outside in my folly this afternoon, but the weather’s still a bit iffy. Apparently it’s only going up to 62° F (17° C), so I may go to the coffee shop instead. By Monday the temperature is supposed to break the 70-degree F mark (21° C). Please keep your fingers crossed for me!

Beluga Update:
By all reports, the beluga calf born Tuesday at the Vancouver Aquarium is thriving. Check out this great photo of mom and baby. I love the way they swim together!

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Walk in the Park

We’ve been having terrible weather here in the Pacific Northwest. Very cold and wet for June. But after a dreary week, the sun put in an appearance this morning, so a friend and I decided to go for a walk through one of our favorite gardens.

And it’s a gorgeous day! The kind that reminds me just how much the weather can control the way I feel.

Now I’m that I’m back home, I’m feeling invigorated and ready to write!

I hope you’re having a great day, too.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Baby Beluga!

Yesterday’s visitors to the Vancouver Aquarium had the rare opportunity to watch the birth of a baby beluga! After a fifteen-month pregnancy, the aquarium’s newest mom, Qila, went into labor and delivered her baby at 4:30 in the afternoon. Qila, who was also born at the aquarium and is a first-time mom, is bonding well with her baby, as you can see from their photo.

Aquarium staff think the calf is a girl, but this is still to be confirmed. We do know she’s approximately five feet long and weighed in at more than one hundred pounds! Here's a video of the auspicious event.

Welcome to world, baby beluga!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday News—June’s Harlequin American Romances

Four brand new Harlequin American Romances are on the shelves today—An Honorable Texan by Victoria Chancellor, Reluctant Partners by Kara Lennox, Texas Lullaby by Tina Leonard, and Man of the Year by Lisa Ruff. Great summer reading!

All four of this month’s books received fabulous reviews from Romantic Times Magazine! And Man of the Year is Lisa Ruff's debut novel. Congratulations, Lisa!

If you'd like to get to know the Harlequin American Romance authors a little better, be sure to visit our blog.

Happy reading!


Monday, June 9, 2008

This week with the Wet Noodle Posse

During the month of June, be sure to join the Wet Noodle Posse for lively and entertaining discussions on the business aspects of writing. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming up this week.

Monday - Bookmarks
Tuesday - Guest blogger Vivian Lund on Websites
Wednesday – School Visits: A Novice’s Experience
Thursday – Book Trailers – Simple or Complex
Friday – new releases, Q&A

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday Fun—Out of this World

I’ve done my share of complaining about the cold weather here on the west coast, but the weather on Mars is downright frigid. A few days ago, polar temperatures on the red planet were highs of –38 C (–22 F) and lows of –88 (–112 F). Brrrrr.

The Phoenix Mars Lander has been there for two weeks now, sending photos and weather reports...and postcards!... back to Earth.

Tomorrow the Mars mission team here on Earth is holding a press conference at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) to report on the latest news. Here’s hoping they’ll tell us when to expect some hard data from the lander’s soil analysis.

Here's hoping there's some fun in your Sunday.


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Men in Trees

The title of this week’s episode is “Surprise, Surprise.” And it was filled with them, although the only real surprise for me is that the show has been cancelled. I love character-driven stories. This one is all about the characters, and every episode has been packed with humor and emotion.

The show’s writers have been blogging about each episode at Blogs in Trees on the ABC website, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading about the direction they were taking with the show. There haven’t been any posts since the network announced they were cancelling the show, and I can’t say I blame the writers for not blogging. I’m sure they’ve already moved on to new projects.

But I hope Jenny Bicks, the show's creator, gives us one last farewell blog after the last episode airs on Wednesday. She’s done a brilliant job with Men in Trees, and she deserves lots of fanfare from the treehuggers who've fallen in love with show!

And be sure to watch the last episode on Wednesday, June 11!


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Big Bang Theory: Dumpling Paradox

I am thoroughly enjoying this show! The dialogue is so well written—smart and snappy and exactly right for each character.

When Wolowitz hooks up with Penny’s friend, the world according to Sheldon is momentarily bumped out of its orbit. How can they play Halo without Wolowitz?

PENNY: Hey, if you guys need a fourth, I’ll play.
LEONARD: Great idea.
SHELDON: Nooooo. The wheel was a great idea.

I also love the subtle things the writers are doing to create intimacy between Penny and Leonard. In the last episode, Penny went through Leonard’s closet, helping him pick out something to wear to the physics convention. This week she spent the night on his sofa.

But back to the dialogue, in which know-it-all Sheldon gets to pontificate, leaving lots of openings for nice-guy Leonard’s quiet zingers.

The restaurant scene was classic.

SHELDON: [lists their usual order when the four of them go to the restaurant] Do you see the problem?
LEONARD: I see a problem.
SHELDON: Our entire order is predicated on four dumplings and four entrees divided amongst four people.
LEONARD: So, we’ll just order three entrees.
SHELDON: Fine. What do you want to eliminate, and who gets the extra dumpling?

I’ve known my share of science geeks who can easily solve complex mathematical problems, yet grapple with simple things, like ordering Chinese food. And isn’t that what makes them so darned loveable?


PS: The penultimate episode of Men in Trees airs tonight. I'm still disappointed that this series has been cancelled.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tuesday News—Firefighters

My next Harlequin American Romance (working title: Halfway to the Stars, release date: tba) has a hero who is a firefighter with the San Francisco Fire Department. I’m working like mad to get it finished and submitted to my editor. I'm pleased to say it’s "coming together" nicely, so I thought I’d share this fun little puzzle with you.

Click to Mix and Solve

Happy reading, writing and puzzle-putting-togethering!


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday Fun—Child’s Play

So often it's the simple things in life that make me smile and give me that “aaahhh” feeling, and that's certainly how I felt on Friday when a friend and I visited the children’s farm at a local park.

We were greeted by this peacock, who had stationed himself above the entrance and seemed to be keeping a close eye on the comings and goings.

The two resident alpacas had recently been shorn. This is Thor, who’s doing his best to look dignified, and failing miserably. I really wanted to give him a hug and tell him not to worry, it’ll grow back!

The highlight of the visit and the real reason for going to the farm in the first place was the newest member of farm’s family—a two-day-old donkey. This is a picture of baby Elliott getting a snuggle from one of the farm workers while his over-protective mama wasn’t looking.

And then there’s Sweetie, the Vietnamese potbellied pig. Sweetie is the farm’s self-appointed poster girl. Her slogan: life is good.

Sweetie, you got that right!

Here's to a putting a little fun in your Sunday :)